Croissants, croissants or croissants? There are not three synonyms: these three sweet delicacies are very different preparations. Here are the differences
Around 8:30 am, we are at the bar. While in Milan someone is having breakfast with cappuccino and Croissant, someone else in Naples is doing it with cappuccino and a croissant… but are they actually having the same breakfast? The answer is yes, both are eating the same thing: calling it brioche is just an improper use of the term, widespread in northern Italy. The real brioche is different from the croissant, but beware: neither is a Croissant.
The differences between croissants, croissants and croissants they are in the ingredients, in the form and in the history. We are immediately clear.
What is the brioche?
The real French brioche is a leavened cake prepared with butter, flour, sugar, eggs, yeast, water and lard. It has more butter and sugar than its "colleagues" and is softer and swollen. Its shape is roundish and often presents a ball of dough on the surface, similar to one Sicilian brioche with tuppo. French brioche can be empty or stuffed with creams, chocolate, jams and marmalades, while the Sicilian one is soaked or stuffed with granita is ice cream.
What is the croissant?
The Italian croissant derives from a typical dessert Viennese: it is about kipfel, a specialty both sweet and savory, shaped Crescent moon. It seems that the kipfel has arrived in Italy in the 1683, a period of commercial exchanges between the Republic of Venice and Vienna, which then became a croissant thanks to the intervention of Venetian confectioners. Also in this case the fundamental difference lies in the ingredients. The croissant is in fact prepared with flour, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, butter and yeast and can be served empty or stuffed.
There is also a regional variant: the Polish anconitana, larger in size, filled with a thin layer of marzipan and covered with a glaze made with egg white and sugar.
What is the croissant?
Although it comes from the same Viennese kipfel, the croissant is not a croissant. It was born in fact subsequently, precisely with the opening of Boulangerie Viennoise in Paris in the 1838. The ingredients are the same as for the croissant, except for one: the eggs (sometimes the albumen is brushed on the surface of the dough to obtain greater browning). The absence of eggs causes the aroma of the butter prevail, thus obtaining the unmistakable taste of the croissant and its consistency more peeled and light of Italian cornetto.
Usually in France the croissant is not filled with creams or chocolate: for that there is the Pain Au Chocolat, prepared with a similar mixture and stuffed with pieces of chocolate. The croissant recipe also provides less sugar compared to the croissant, which makes it more neutral and also suitable for being stuffed with salami and cheese, for a snack or a savory breakfast.
Finally (although they are actually the same thing) there is an important difference between the Croissant in the north and the croissant in the south-central, the most dramatic for all off-site. The brioche is eaten almost exclusively at breakfast, while the croissant is also found everywhere night. It is very rare in the north to come across bakeries and bars that churn out hot croissants after sunset, while in the south-central it is common to go and enjoy them even at the end of the evening. A sweet night guaranteed!